Loren Legarda files bill to peg maids’ minimum wage at P4,000, entitle helpers to 13th month pay and benefits

Sen. Loren Legarda has filed  a bill which seeks a minimum wage salary of P4,000 per month for household helpers along with 13th month pay, vacation leave, maternity benefits, deployment expenses, and membership to the Social Security System and Philippine Health Insurance Corp., reports Manila Bulletin.

The bill, known as Senate Bill 7, also stipulates that the employer and helper must have a duly signed contract of service covering annual salary increase, living quarters, and period of employment that shall not exceed two years, among others. There is also a special provision for minor helpers.

Legarda said the bill aims "to acknowledge the inherent dignity and nobility of the work of our household helpers or our beloved kasambahays." She said, "The promotion of their rights, giving them more benefits, and protecting their welfare are but small gestures compared to their collective contribution to society... Recognizing them as an invaluable contribution to our society by acknowledging their financial and physical needs is long due."

She added, "One of the most influential persons in my life is my own [nanny] Nanay Fely, and to this day, even if I already have two children, she continues to take care of my family."

The bill Legarda filed early this week is similar to Senate Bill 78 filed by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on July 1. The Senate approved Estrada’s bill, previously named Senate Bill 1662, in 2007 but the House of Representatives did not pass its counterpart bill.

The 15th Congress opens on July 26.

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